ISO/IEC 20000 for IT Service Management – in 3 minutes



ISO/IEC 20000

The basics

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 is the international standard for service management. It specifies 212 requirements for organizations providing services to establish, implement, maintain and continually improve a service management system. This system is to manage the lifecycle of services, including the planning, design, transition, delivery and improvement of services. These services meet the agreed service requirements of customers and users and deliver value to these customers, users and to the organization delivering the services.


ISO/IEC 20000 is owned by the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electro technical Commission (IEC). Implementation and operation of a service management system provides ongoing visibility, control of services and continual improvement, leading to greater effectiveness and efficiency.

ISO/IEC 20000 helps organizations benchmark how they deliver services, measure service levels and assess their performance.

The standard has two main parts, which both enable organizations delivering services to identify how to enhance the quality of service they deliver to their customers, both internal and external:

  • Part 1: Service management system requirements (ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018) provides 212 requirements for service management and is relevant to those responsible for initiating, implementing or maintaining services in their organization.
  • Part 2: Guidance on the application of the service management system (ISO/IEC 20000-2:2012) describes the best practices for service management within the scope of ISO/IEC 20000-1. A new version of this document is expected early 2019. It is of particular use to organizations seeking guidance on how to improve service quality.

ISO/IEC 20000 is for any organization whether small or large and independent of type, industry or the nature of the services delivered.

Organizations can have their service management systems independently certified as conforming to the requirements of ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018. Over 5000 organizations globally are ISO/IEC 20000 certified.

Target audience

IT service providers; internal IT units; auditors

Scope and constraints

ISO/IEC 20000 is appropriate to IT service provider organizations. It is suitable for all industry sectors and to all sizes of organization except the very smallest (where a wide ranging ISO 9000 certification is more appropriate).

The traditional use of a formal standard is to achieve formal certification; it is also helpful as a benchmark and guide to implementing best practice processes. The inherent nature of its unambiguously expressed requirements allows meaningful period-by-period comparisons, which can deliver a measure of improvement in a service provider’s processes.ISO 20000 can assist an organization in benchmarking its IT service management, improving its services, demonstrating an ability to meet customer requirements and create a framework for an independent assessment.


To achieve wide and comprehensive coverage, the standard addresses only the generically valid core elements of the service management processes; it can never describe the full set of processes/procedures that an individual service provider will require to deliver effective and efficient, customer-focused services.

Relevant links (web links)

Official ISO website:

Want to know more?

9789087537265_CoverLRTitle: ISO/IEC 20000:2011 – A Pocket Guide
Author: Mart Rovers
ISBN: 9789087537265
Price: € 15,95
Order here your copy or view the sample file on our website

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